10 Shows Like 'Westworld' to Watch Next

'Westworld' is once again offline (figuratively), as the series was canceled. But you can stay in the dystopian mindset with these 10 other shows.
by Taylor Freitas — 

Tessa Thompson (center) in 'Westworld' Season 4


Inspired by Michael Crichton's 1973 film, HBO's Westworld began as equal parts science-fiction and Western, full of stunning visuals, thought-provoking storylines, and an outstanding cast that includes Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, Angela Sarafyan, Tessa Thompson, and Aaron Paul.

The series premiered in 2016, and its early seasons are set at Westworld, an Old West-themed amusement park run by human-looking robots called "hosts." When human guests visit the park, the hosts must fulfill all of their requests — no matter how unsavory they may be. And they are usually unsavory. 

As time goes on, some of the hosts become sentient and start a revolution against their human overlords. In Westworld's most recent seasons, the setting changes from the theme park to futuristic versions of Los Angeles and New York City, and characters are separated by geography and time, but the tense relationship between the hosts and humans remains.

From creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, Westworld asks big questions over decades-spanning storylines about free will versus determinism and the value of humanity and the price of holding onto it, while also challenging its audience to think harder about the technology (especially artificial intelligence) it is welcoming into its own world. 

HBO canceled the show after a four-season run, but if you're not ready to leave the increasingly dystopian futuristic setting behind, here, Metacritic offers 10 Westworld-like shows to add to your streaming queue, ranked by Metascore.


Mary McDonnell in 'Battlestar Galactica'

Battlestar Galactica

Metascore: 89
Best for: Fans of sci-fi space dramas
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 4

Developed by Star Trek veteran Ronald D. Moore, Battlestar Galactica is a reimagined version of the original 1978 TV series of the same title. The show is set in a distant galaxy, where humanity is locked into war with the robotic Cylons. After a brutal attack that destroyed the humans' Twelve Colonies, Commander Bill Adama (Edward James Olmos) and President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) attempt to put the pieces back together and embark on a mission to the faraway planet of Earth. Over its four-season run, Battlestar Galactica won several major awards, including three Primetime Emmys (from 19 total nominations).

"Any show that can accommodate decadent cruelty, tragic bravery, and political divisiveness is one you ought to be watching, frakkin' spaceships or not." — Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly


Regina King in 'Watchmen'



Metascore: 85
Best for: Fans of untraditional superhero shows
Where to watch:

, , , ,
Seasons: 1

Released in 2019, Watchmen is an HBO limited series that depicts an alternate version of present-day society, where superheroes are outlawed. The program is adapted from the DC Comics graphic novels of the same name and takes place in Oklahoma, where a white supremacist group is coordinating racially-motivated attacks against people of color. It's there that Angela Abar (Regina King), a detective in the Tulsa Police Department, must investigate the violence — without revealing her identity. In 2020, Watchmen won 11 Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie (for King).

"Relentlessly entertaining, odd and creative." — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter


Adam Scott and Britt Lower in 'Severance'

Apple TV+


Metascore: 83
Best for: Fans of surreal sci-fi thrillers
Where to watch:

Seasons: 1 (so far)

In Severance, Adam Scott plays Mark Scout, an employee of the high-tech firm Lumon Industries. Along with some of his co-workers, Mark undergoes a medical procedure to separate his personal and professional memories, which enables him to focus exclusively on work while he's at the office. When he returns home, he has no recollection of his business life and, instead, spends his time grieving his wife's death but gradually gets pulled into a journey of trying to better understand what is going on at the company. Directed by Ben Stiller and Aoife McArdle, this suspenseful sci-fi drama has racked up more than a dozen Primetime Emmy nominations in its debut season (with a sophomore season in the works).

"Severance is at its best and most revealing when it grapples with the more existential issues of its brainwashing technology, especially in how it affects relationships." — Patrick Ryan, USA Today


'Black Mirror: USS Callister'


Black Mirror 

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of dark dystopian dramas 
Where to watch:

, , , Netflix
Seasons: 5 (so far)

Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror is a sci-fi drama series that began on Britain's Channel 4 but is now produced by Netflix. The show explores a number of futuristic and technology-centric themes, including artificial intelligence, social media, virtual reality, and privacy. As an episodic anthology series, each installment of Black Mirror has a standalone story arc and cast, with themes and genres that vary throughout the season. Since it premiered in 2011, the show has won a number of notable awards, including nine Emmys and two BAFTA Awards. It also spawned an interactive version with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in 2018.

"Like The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror cleverly creates these slightly skewed worlds with limited special effects and in a truncated amount of time, trusting the audience to catch up with stories that are often joined in progress. It's the sort of brainy science fiction to which many aspire and few consistently deliver." — Brian Lowry, CNN


Justin Theroux (front, left) in 'The Leftovers'


The Leftovers 

Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of supernatural thrillers
Where to watch:

, , ,
Seasons: 3

The Leftovers, an HBO drama series based on Tom Perrotta's 2011 novel of the same title, takes place a few years after the "Sudden Departure," a mysterious event where 2-percent of the world's population vanished. The aptly-titled show follows the people who remained on Earth, including Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), a police officer whose family decides to join a cult after the Departure. Perrotta created the show with Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof. During its run, the series won a pair of Critics' Choice Television Awards, including Most Exciting New Series in 2014.

"A baffling, beautiful, maddening, provocative puzzle." — Verne Gay, Newsday


Gemma Chan in 'Humans'



Metascore: 76
Best for: Fans of artificial intelligence-themed content
Where to watch:

, Google Play, ,
Seasons: 3

Humans exists in an alternate version of the present, where people are clamoring over a hot new tech gadget: human-like robots called "Synths." Although the androids are originally designed to help individuals and families stay on top of their busy schedules, they quickly begin to take on a life of their own, blurring the lines between human and machine. Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman-Hill) learns this the hard way when he purchases a Synth named Anita (Gemma Chan) — despite his wife's reluctance. The show, which is inspired by a Swedish series with a similar premise, received a BAFTA Award in 2016.

"It's familiar sci-fi territory, of course, but the show tackles it in intriguing style while delivering some suspenseful touches." — Chuck Barney, San Jose Mercury News


Janelle Monáe in 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'

Prime Video

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams 

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of twisted sci-fi tales
Where to watch:

, Google Play, ,
Seasons: 1

Based on 10 short stories by the titular science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams is an anthology series that explores the futuristic and dystopian ideas often present in Dick's work. Moore developed and executive produced the show, which features a different director and writer for each episode. Some of the main themes throughout Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams include human consciousness, artificial intelligence, outer space, and extraterrestrial life. Many notable actors appeared in the series, including Bryan Cranston (who was also an executive producer), Steve Buscemi, Greg Kinnear, Terrence Howard, Anna Paquin, and Janelle Monáe

"Like all anthologies, some hours are better than others (but most of these are good), and what Dreams lacks in razzle-dazzle, it makes up for in brains." — Verne Gay, Newsday


Amanda Collin in 'Raised by Wolves'


Raised by Wolves

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of android-human relationship dramas
Where to watch:

Seasons: 2

Set after Earth is destroyed by war, Raised by Wolves revolves on Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), a pair of androids raising human children on planet Kepler-22b. Although Mother appears warm and nurturing toward the kids, she is programmed to destroy — which creates some suspicion about her true motives. The Wall Street Journal's John Anderson called the character "the most memorable female/female-like space entity since Sigourney Weaver's Ripley in Alien," which is unsurprising considering Alien director Ridley Scott, served as an executive producer on Raised by Wolves (and directed the first two episodes of the series).

"Raised By Wolves may be too self-important to qualify as fun, but there's fascination in its visual wonder and mystery." — Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine


'Altered Carbon'


Altered Carbon 

Metacritic: 64
Best for: Fans of thrilling cyberpunk stories
Where to watch:

, , ,
Seasons: 2

Based on Richard K. Morgan's 2002 novel, Altered Carbon takes place more than 300 years into the future, in a reality where humans can shift into different bodies (known as "sleeves") when they die. After being murdered, the wealthy and powerful Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) decides to transfer his consciousness into a new sleeve — and kicks off a quest to understand the reasons behind his killing. To help him solve it, he hires Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), a prisoner and former soldier who's been held captive for more than two centuries.

"Altered Carbon is often quite a bit of fun, but its flaws are large and glaring." — Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club


From left to right: Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion in 'Firefly'



Metascore: 63
Best for: Fans of outer-space dramas
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , , Tubi, Vudu
Seasons: 1 (and a movie)

Joss Whedon's Firefly takes a look at life 500 years into the future through the eyes of nine people living aboard the Serenity spacecraft. Leading the charge is Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), an ex-soldier and the ship's captain, who's committed to the Serenity and its crew. Onboard, Malcolm is joined by a talented crew that includes his wartime compatriot and second-in-command Zoe Washburne (Gina Torres) and her husband, Hoban "Wash" Washburne (Alan Tudyk), who's also the ship's pilot. Although Firefly only aired for one season, it has developed a cult following in the 20 years since it was canceled and spawned a followup film in 2005.

"Whedon's approach is intriguing, and the storytelling refuses to settle for simple heroics. ... Unfortunately, the drama and acting could be more compelling." — Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel